I know from previous trips together that I am a terrible travel companion. I constantly find myself distracted, tense and wandering off to search for possible photo opportunities. Unfortunately, my photography brain makes relaxation very difficult because I always seem to find something to shoot and it is impossible to watch any potential opportunity slide by. I knew it would be especially difficult on this trip, how could any photographer with a love of the urban environment resist the allure of New York?
I know that I cannot go on like this and in the weeks leading up to our trip I decided to put a plan in place to help ease my stress. This began when I narrowed down my kit to a minimum, taking only my Fujifilm x-t2 and two prime lenses – the 23mm f2 and my 50mm f2. I also decided to sacrifice my tripod and shoot everything handheld. I genuinely considered ditching all of my photography gear and taking only a smartphone thinking it would eliminate my anxiety about ‘doing photography' but I could not do it. New York was too great a location to miss.
New York is so vast that an itinerary is essential for most visitors. Creating an itinerary was a great way to help me plan my shots and discover locations nearby. Iconic New York sites such as the Empire State or the Chrysler Building are obvious starting points and it was a simple task to research the surrounding area using Google Maps’ Street View feature. This was a great way to walk the streets of New York and see what was close by before we even departed the UK. Simple steps like this helped to control any urge to wander off and snap away unprompted. I even went so far as creating a ‘New York locations’ map on Google Maps containing over seventy possible points of interest. So whenever I had some spare time I could nip off and back again with minimal fuss.